Friday, July 18, 2008

A Miscellany

This entry marks the end of the books I will display from the small bookshelf. From here on I will move onto bigger, and hopefully, better things on the other two bookcases.

First off, two hard cover copies of famous books, which I basically purchased to fill a gap when the paperback copies disappeared.

cummings_enormous_room (Small) thirdpoliceman (Small)

The Enormous Room I first read way back in the 1960s when my sister in law recommended it to me. It was her favourite book. It is an oddity, a memoir by ee cummings on his experience when he was detained as a suspected spy in France during the first world war. It is written in the idiosyncratic style Cummings later developed in his poetry.

The Third Policeman by Flann O’Brien is one of the great absurdist novels and probably O’Brien’s best known novel. I do have a first edition copy of The Dalkey Archive on another bookshelf, but alas this edition of The Third Policeman is a later edition.

Janwillem Van De Wetering wrote a series of detective novels set in Amsterdam featuring Police Officers Grijpstra and de Geir, two very engaging characters. The novels are laid back and gently humorous with ingenious plots. The following two novels, The Mind Murders and The Streetbird were published in 1981 and 1983.

vanderwettering_mindmurders (Small) vanderwettering_streetbird (Small)

I am saddened to see, on his Wikipedia page, that Van de Wetering died early this month on July 4th which coincidentally is the day the remarkable Thomas Disch chose to end his life.

Another pair of oddities – Azazel by Isaac Asimov and The Kingdom Fanes, are respectively, a collection of short stories featuring the two centimetre tall demon Azazel published in one volume in 1988, and the other is an unusual fairy tale by Amanda Prantera. As a physical object, The Kingdom of Fanes is a lovely little hard cover. Amanda Prantera wrote several metaphysical novels early in her career – Strange Loop and The Cabalist to name a few, and also wrote a sort of tribute to Lord Byron in her novel Conversations with Lord Byron on perversion, 163 years after His Lordship’s death. She is an interesting writer and deserves to be better known.

asimov_azazel (Small) prantera_fanes (Small)

Lastly, two unusual Faber publications – The Mystery of the Sardine by Stefan Themerson and The Pearl Killers by Rachel Ingalls. These books were part of the haul given me by my Faber rep friend.

sardines (Small) ingalls_pearlkillers (Small)

Oh, I almost forgot – Billion Year Spree by Brian Aldiss – a respected history of Science Fiction, a bit out of date these days, but still valid.

billion year (Small)

There may be a short hiatus in postings as I scan books for the next stage of bookcase revelations - art books, science fiction and fantasy.

1 comment:

Kay said...

I am enjoying perusing your bookshelves!